Saturday, July 07, 2018

Real chaos over Ryan shutdown eludes clueless governor

It doesn't matter what Mayor Emanuel's motives were for bucking state and city police to facilitate Father Pfleger's Dan Ryan march. He did the right thing. Rahm brokered a deal to let the march go forward but allowing only 2 of 4 lanes to be used, in spite of Pfleger's call to shut it down. Rauner got on board as the compromise saved his face as the 'law and order' governor who wouldn't let the activist priest and his followers succeed. But Rauner went bonkers when the massive crowd forced state police to shut down the other two lanes, giving total victory to the Pfleger folks demanding a complete shutdown to raise the price of state and city refusal to address third world conditions in Chicago. Rauner's sore headed tweet speaks volumes of his bottomless insensitivity to his black constituents. "This is unacceptable. We had clear parameters that allowed the protesters to be heard while respecting law and order. Instead, they chose instead to cause chaos. Rahm’s Twitter retort was priceless: “It was a peaceful protest. Delete your account.” Rauner's tantrum over the ability of peaceful protesters to raise the issue of hopelessness in their community utterly demolishes his campaign boast that he's done the most to elevate the black community. The chaos wasn't on the was in the governor's head.

Friday, July 06, 2018

Teachable moment in COD Breuder saga

The immense legal bills in the years long saga of former COD president Robert Breuder may well reach the million mark before the case is resolved later this year or beyond. It's not pretty reading for we DuPage taxpayers but we can take solace for at least one teachable moment. The Chicago Tribune, in chronicling Breuder's alleged financial misdeeds that prompted his firing, called him an 'oenophile' without explanation. Sure sounds ominous and even this logophile was puzzled. But a quick search revealed 'oenophile' is actually a complement, meaning 'a wine connoisseur'. I have no problem with Dr. Breuder being an oenophile. I just wish he wouldn't have had to prove his oenophile bonafides by charging taxpayers for 18 bottles of hundred dollar wine at his 2013 staff Christmas dinner. We most certainly would have taken his word for being an oenophile without having to pay for the proof.

Thursday, July 05, 2018

Pfleger channeling Randolph's 1941 proposed march

Father Pfleger's proposed Dan Ryan march isn't the first mass protest designed to frighten America's rulers. The march is intended as a disrupting form of civil disobedience to prod, scare, shock the political establishment to address the poverty and hopelessness on the South and West Sides and its resulting violence. Sixty-seven years ago, A. Phillip Randolph, head of the Brotherhood of Sleeping Car Porters, threatened a hundred thousand person march on Washington, demanding jobs for blacks in the burgeoning defense industry. Full employment on America's march to war didn't include them as evidenced by the president of North American Aviation who didn't mince words: "While we are in complete sympathy with the Negro, it is against company policy to employ them as aircraft workers or mechanics ... regardless of their training.... There will be some jobs as janitors for Negroes." Ouch.
Randolph knew organizing, forming his railroad porters union in 1925, uplifting thousands of blacks into the middle class. FDR deflected Randolph''s demands in September, 1940, prompting Randolph's January, 1941 call for the first massive civil rights march in DC. 1941 was no 1963 as far as allowing such an event. FDR caved, issuing Executive Order 8802 on June 25, opening up defense plant jobs to black workers, skilled as well as menial, North American Aviation included. Though little spoken of today, the 1941 non march was one of the earliest thrusts toward black economic equality that inspired the future civil rights movement of the 50's and 60's.
Wouldn't it be fitting if Father Pfleger's proposed march also caused our governmental masters to actually begin the process of economic and spiritual uplift of America's poverty shame? Like FDR, there would be no shame for Governor Rauner and Mayor Emmanuel to cave when it allows the light of uplift and reform to shine in.

Wednesday, July 04, 2018

Bike The Drive....Walk The Ryan

As a two time participant in the annual Memorial Day Sunday Bike the Drive, I'm a tad confused over the fuss state and Chicago police are making over Father Pfleger's planned July 7 march on the Dan Ryan to protest violence and despair on the South and West Sides. Shutting down the 30 mile Drive is virtually seamless to the tens of thousands of us bringing our 'bikin' around money' into Chicago to boost the affluent Loop's economy. But shuttingdown the Ryan for a measly mile for no monetary gain has set the Power Elite's and the Law's collective hair on fire. The daily bloodbath, the double digit unemployment, the blocks of vacant lots, the runaway illegal drug economy, the despair are all a historical legacy of America's racist, slave holding past.
We need a Marshall Plan for America's inner cities and rural poverty pockets, be they black, brown or white. We need to govern where the money isn't instead of just where it is. We will never do that with the status quo. That is not acceptable for the truest Christian and his followers this Saturday. Shut it down Father. And if nothing gets done....shut it down again.